Stoptober roadshow comes to Birmingham

By on 24/09/2014 in Cllr Cotton, News

Stoptober logoComedic entertainment act, The Comedy Fitness Brothers will be part of the nationwide Stoptober roadshow in the Bullring Shopping Centre, Birmingham on Friday 26 September to mark the return of the nation's biggest mass quit smoking attempt.

The 28-day stop smoking challenge from Public Health England is coming to Birmingham to encourage smokers to swap their fags for gags and to help them quit for good this October.

The roadshow will give people in Birmingham the opportunity to see award winning street entertainers, The Comedy Fitness Brothers who will be encouraging smokers to take part in the 28 day stop smoking challenge. As well as being able to sign up to Stoptober, smokers will be able to receive information and expert advice on quitting from local stop smoking service that will be present at the roadshow. In addition, members of the public will be able to tell jokes and record messages of support on a big screen to share via social media.

Birmingham City Council Cabinet member for Health and Wellbeing, Cllr John Cotton, said: “This is a fun launch for a very serious and worthwhile campaign. Almost 5,000 Birmingham people took the Stoptober challenge last year and we're really hoping for a similar response this year.

“I’m a former smoker myself, so I know quitting is easier said than done. But it’s one of the best things I’ve ever done. Lots of help is available throughout the year and, if you decide to stop smoking in Stoptober, you’ll be one of thousands of people across Birmingham taking this challenge.”

The Comedy Fitness Brothers, Wayne Miller and Richard Jones, won the UK National Street Entertainers award in 2010 for their comedy skits. Their Stoptober routines will be providing lots encouragement and entertainment to those wishing to attempt the challenge this year.

Evidence shows that if a smoker can go 28 days without a cigarette, they are five times more likely to stay permanently smoke-free. Quitting smoking can be a difficult process but successfully quitting has significant health, monetary and social benefits.

Stoptober provides smokers with a range of free tools including a new stop smoking pack, a 28-day mobile phone app, text support with daily updates, quitting advice and tips for coping, as well as the encouragement and support from thousands of people quitting together through Stoptober social media channels.

The 28-day challenge starts on Tuesday 1st October. For more information and to join the biggest stop smoking challenge of its kind, search 'Stoptober' online and sign up.


Notes to Editors

Smoking in Birmingham

  • In Birmingham around 1 in 5 adults smoke, equating to around 185,000 smokers.
  • Every year over 4,500 people die in Birmingham from a smoking related disease.
  • Last year 4,748 Birmingham smokers took part in the Stoptober challenge and Birmingham's Stop Smoking Service is expecting a similar rush this year.

Smoking is directly linked with Birmingham's three biggest killers, and is directly attributable to:

  • 1 in 4 of all cancers,
  • 1 in 5 deaths from cardiovascular disease (heart disease and stroke),
  • 1 in 3 of all deaths from respiratory disease

But help is available and smokers who quit with the help of Birmingham Community Healthcare’s Stop Smoking Service are four times more likely to stop than with will power alone.

For friendly, expert advice and support on how to quit smoking, call the Birmingham stop smoking service on 0800 052 5855 free or text ‘QUIT’ to 80800.

Stoptober and Public Health England

  1. To sign-up for Stoptober go to:
  2. PHE exists to protect and improve the nation’s health and wellbeing, and reduce health inequalities. It does this through advocacy, partnerships, world-class science, knowledge and intelligence, and the delivery of specialist public health services. PHE is an operationally autonomous executive agency of the Department of Health. For more information on PHE visit or follow us on Twitter @PHE_uk
  3. While smoking rates have declined over past decades, smoking is still the biggest cause of preventable illness and premature deaths in the country – accounting for over 80,000 deaths in England a year. One in every two long-term smokers will die prematurely from a smoking related disease unless they quit.
  4. Paddy McGuinness says: “I'm supporting Stoptober to encourage the nation to bin their fags this October. We are asking every smoker to take on the challenge of quitting for 28-days so they can enjoy being a bit healthier and also, have more loose change in their pockets. Over 250,000 people got involved last year, so you won't be on your own. There will be lots of free support, plus me and my fellow comedy friends, to help you along the way.”
  5. Andi Osho says: “I don't smoke anymore, but I know how difficult quitting is, which is why I'm throwing my support behind Stoptober, to let people know that it can be done. You can do it. I think it's important to use comedy for this campaign, especially if you've tried a number of times to give up. We're bringing some levity, giving helpful tips and we’ve made loads of videos so you can tune into those and they'll help you keep going.”

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